Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, are the condition that makes the soles of your feet completely touch the ground. It is very rare to have ‘true’ or completely flat feet but contributing factors can build up and cause the arch of the foot to flatten over time. This can be caused by weak arches, injuries, arthritis, other foot conditions and nervous or muscle disorders.
Unfortunately, flat feet can cause quite a lot of pain. Symptoms vary though, and some people might not be aware of the gradual weakening or flattening of the foot. Pain can occur on the arch of the foot, up the legs and into the lower back. It can happen to one or both feet. Uneven flattening of the feet typically occurs when you favour or weight yourself on one foot more than the other.
It is very rare that flat feet conditions ever reach a severity that requires surgery. Typically, natural remedies are the most effective and therefore prescribed by doctors. The foremost of which is arch support insoles. The following are just a few of the natural remedies for flat feet:
Arch Support Insoles:
Arch supports, or orthotic insoles as they may be referred to by your podiatrist, are specially designed insoles that slot into your shoes. Whereas you may use standard insoles to cushion your shoes, these are designed to support the contours of your feet, which conditions the foot into correcting over pronation and falling arches. They are also shock absorbing, which means if you are experiencing pain when you place pressure or weight on the foot, the insole is mechanically designed to reduce the strain on the foot, leg, hips and back.
Re-building strength in the foot muscle can help to correct collapsed arches. Over time, this can help to prevent pain from worsening. Over time, it can even help to relieve pain but this natural remedy for flat feet works best in conjunction with arch support insoles and other treatments. Some of the most recommended exercises by podiatrists are:
- Calf raises
- Heel stretches
- Arch lifts
- Stair lifts
- Towel curls
All of these exercises are simple and can be done at home, with no equipment required.
As with so many different conditions, flat feet can be worsened by your overall health and lifestyle. Obesity and being overweight puts undue pressure on the feet, weakening the tendons and muscles in the foot.
One of the best natural solutions for flat feet is to embrace a healthier lifestyle. It can feel counterproductive as your feet and mobility may be limited because of the pain caused by the condition but wearing orthotic arch support insoles whilst you engage in light, low-impact activity is recommended. Swimming is also a great way to lose weight and works out the whole body. A healthy, non-fatty diet is also recommended to help you lose weight, have more energy and feel better in yourself. This could also be essential to avoiding diabetic foot and other foot health concerns, such as gout.
In many cases, flat feet do not cause pain. Research is ongoing about the progression of the condition and whether these natural treatments should be employed as early as possible to prevent or correct future damage. Fortunately, treatments are all natural and will not affect other medications. They are also low-cost and effective for relieving pain.